Several hundred people joined in-person and online for The Texas Tribune’s lunchtime conversation event, “Running Low on Options: Health Care in Rural Texas,” hosted on Temple College’s main campus Wednesday.
Following an introduction by Temple College President Dr. Christy Ponce, the one-hour discussion was moderated by Evan Smith, CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, and featured three panelists representing Texas’ rural health care industry. The panel included:
- Dr. Grady “Sam” Hogue, interim department head of the Department of Primary Care and Population Health at Texas A&M’s College of Medicine.
- Dr. Diedra Wuenschel, the Coryell Health medical director for RehabLiving, medical director of the Coryell Health Medical Clinic of Gatesville and Mills County, and elected chief of staff.
- Lorenzo Serrano, CEO of Winkler County Hospital District. He is the vice chair on the board of directors for the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals and chair of the Texas Hospital Association’s rural hospital council.
The panelists discussed rural health care both pre- and post-pandemic and addressed issues such as major staffing shortages, economic hurdles and spotty broadband limiting access to telehealth.
In addition to Temple College hosting the event, sponsors included Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas Inc., Texas Association of Counties, Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals (TORCH) and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Media sponsor was The Temple Daily Telegram.
The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public media organization whose mission is to promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government and other matters of statewide interest. The Texas Tribune Festival, a multiday celebration of politics, public policy and the day’s news, will take place in Austin Sept. 22-24.